Monday, June 05, 2006

On-the-spot panic diagnosis

…According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, a Univ of Washington psychiatrist, Wayne Katon, MD, found that between 3% and 8% of patients visiting their primary care physician had panic disorder.

…Symptoms include pounding heart, chest and abdominal pain, and shortness of breath.

…The doctors do a ton of tests to rule everything else out—and often are left with the panic diagnosis.

…According to Katon, panic disorder is treatable in 4-6 weeks with medication or cognitive therapy, or a combination.

…His recommendation is to include mental health professionals in primary care offices to speed diagnosis.

…HA was going to be snarky and say, “Sure, they can say it’s all in your head sooner.”

…OK, she will say it.

…For the 90-some percent with a physical problem causing the symptoms, being put on antidepressants right out of the box could be a move in the wrong direction.

…Or do you agree? Comment!

…Heaven knows, there are enough reasons around to panic.

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